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21. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Wallace Gray A Surprising Rediscovery and Partial Review of The Foundations of Belief by James Balfour
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Well known as the British politician responsible for the Balfour Declaration during World War I, James Balfour was also a philosopher. Long forgotten, his remarkable book The Foundations of Belief (1895) merits contemporary reassessment. Critical of modern compartmentalization, Balfour argues for an integration of religion, philosophy, and science---a position now often identified as postmodern. This article presents some of Balfour’s contemporary scholarly significance, and hints at his usefulness in undergraduate teaching.
22. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Joe Frank Jones, III Moral Growth in Children’s Literature: A Primer with Examples
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This essay applies a plausible model for moral growth to examples of secular and religious children’s literature. The point is that moral maturation, given this model, requires imaginary worlds on both secular and religious presuppositions. Trying to guide a child’s reading toward either religious or secular books rather than toward good literature is shown therefore to miss the mark of good parenting.
23. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Laura Duhan Kaplan Speaking for Myself in Philosophy
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The conventions of positivism, still the standard model for academic discourse, require philosophers to take knowledge out of the context of personal experience. In this essay, I argue that such a decontextualization impoverished the development of moral and epistemological knowledge. I propose to contextualize such knowledge by using the personal essay as a style of philosophical writing. As literary style shapes what can be thought and said, adoption of a different literary style calls for a reinterpretation of philosophy’s understanding of the self, the quest for truth, and the nature of universality.
24. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
William O. Stephens Five Arguments for Vegetarianism
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Five different arguments for vegetarianism are discussed: the system of meat production deprives poor people of food to provide meat for the wealthy, thus violating the principle of distributive justice; the world livestock industry causes great and manifold ecological destruction; meat-eating cultures and societal oppression of women are intimately linked and so feminism and vegetarianism must both be embraced to transform our patriarchal culture; both utilitarian and rights-based reasoning lead to the conclusion that raising and slaughtering animals is immoral, and so we ought to boycott meat; meat consumption causes many serious diseases and lowers life expectancy, and so is unhealthy. Objections to each argument are examined. The conclusion reached is that the cumulative case successfully establishes vegetarianism as a virtuous goal.
25. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
William Aiken Is Deep Ecology Too Radical?
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The theory of Deep Ecology is characterized as having two essential features: the belief that nature is inherently valuable, and the belief that one’s self is truly realized by identification with nature. Four common but different meanings of the term “radical” are presented. Whether the theory of Deep Ecology is “too radical” depends upon which of these meanings one is using.
26. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Henny Wenkart Feminist Revaluation of the Mythical Triad, Lilith, Adam, Eve: A Contribution to Role Model Theory
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This essay inquires into the need for and power of role models, and suggests some answers. The example it employs to study the issue is the contemporary Jewish feminist “role model,” Lilith, first wife of Adam. Various and opposite forms of the Lilith-and-Adam myth through the ages are given, including new contributions from a Lilith anthology in preparation by the author and others. Those needs of women and men that the mythical “role model” is constructed to satisfy are suggested.
27. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Jessica Miller Trust in Strangers, Trust in Friends
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Recent literature on trust commonly contains the claim that the trust which characterizes intimate relationships is a different phenomenon altogether from the trust that characterizes professional and other sorts of non-intimate relationships. In this paper I argue that while there are important differences among kinds of trust, an invidious distinction between trust in strangers and trust infriends is not only unwarranted but it obscures the fundamentally affective and relational base of all forms of interpersonal trust. In this essay I construct an account of interpersonal trust, which recognizes the similarities that pervade its different forms. Without such a complex approach, we lose theoretical sight not only of key features of trust, but of the relationship of trust to significant dimensions of human existence.
28. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Thomas D. Kennedy Duties of Neighbors: Patriotism, Projects and Fiduciary Bonds of Nearness
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A primary fiduciary bond, rarely examined, is that of neighbor. I distinguish this bond from others that may overlap it, those of fellow citizen or compatriot. I argue that the nature of moral identity and the nature of moral formation require moral agents to acknowledge the fiduciary duties of neighbor.
29. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Evelyn Keyes Representative Democracy and the Public Trust
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The “Idea of Intrinsic Equality” is central to democracy, but in what respects are persons intrinsically equal, and what requirements, if any, does their equality impose on a process for making collective decisions? This paper seeks to answer that question with respect to our own representative democracy. It examines three theories of collective decision-making that arguably characterize the democratic process under the United States Constitution. It concludes that, while all preserve the Idea of Intrinsic Equality in the election of representatives and legislative voting, only the third theory, Democratic Egalitarianism, which treats all like interests alike in promulgating laws and preserves the fundamental liberties of all, both preserves the Idea of Intrinsic Equality throughout the legislative process and fulfills the fiduciary mandate that legislators legislate in the interests of the people.
30. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Stephen de Wijze Democracy, Trust and the Problem of ‘Dirty Hands’
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‘Dirty hands’ scenarios require politicians to commit moral violations to achieve worthwhile goals. To mitigate the harm done to the fiduciary relationship underlying a democratic society, I argue for the adoption of two procedures: retrospective accountability and special oversight committees. I also offer three criteria for a much-required political ethic.